Johnstone Castle belonged to the Houstouns of Milliken, who acquired the estate of Easter Cochrane in 1773. The original structure was substantially enlarged in 1771 and 1812 by George Houstoun, who had the structure remodelled in a castellated style complete with a turret at the left hand of the front elevation, possibly by the architect James Gillespie Graham.
The most notable features were barrel vaulted rooms in the ground floor. Externally in addition to the battlemented decoration there was a rope-styled string course. Although the castle and policies were considered particularly picturesque, the continued growth of the town of Johnstone reduced its size and the estate had largely disappeared by the start of the 20th century. Much of the house was demolished in 1950, and most of the remainder of the grounds was purchased by the local authority for housing in 1956.
Today all that remains is the central square tower along with a crow-stepped bartizaned section of an older date.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.